bc q&a

The Interactive Explorer: 5 Questions With Blippar VP/GM Lisa Hu

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 22, 2014 01:31 PM

Augmented reality (AR) is a burgeoning playground for brands as smart tech takes on the bridging of all things physical with virtual applications to engage consumers. 

AR isn’t new, but the rise of wearable technology such as smart watches and glasses, along with GPS tracking, sensors and camera technology on mobile devices, has pushed it over the tipping point. Case in point: AR start-up Magic Leap just raised $542 million in a funding round led by Google and Qualcomm.

A major player in this sphere is Blippar, which harnesses AR and image-recognition technology for smartphones, tablets and wearables. Using the Blippar app, users hold their phones over blippable content to trigger a digital experience known as “blipping.” 

Brands can render any content, logos, products, magazine advertisements, billboards instantly interactive from any mobile device. Jaguar, for example, this month launched a global campaign that integrated Conde Nast print ads for Google Glass wearers, starring British actor Nicholas Hoult. Primark just launched a holiday campaign in the U.K. using its technology.

“The marketing industry is increasingly shying away from impressions and warming up to true, meaningful interactions, as these are more valuable metrics,” Blippar GM USA, Lisa Hu tells brandchannel. “This is where Blippar can truly excel from the CMO's perspective.” Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Lexus, Yahoo, Lumia and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 22, 2014 09:14 AM

TOP STORIES

Lexus launches a virtual experience app. 

Johnson & Johnson plans to begin testing Ebola vaccine in January, with 250K doses ready by May.

Yahoo's Marissa Mayer fires back at critics as company makes more money from search but still needs clearer strategy. 

Microsoft officially lays Nokia name to rest and embraces Lumia for Windows phones.

Target unifies holiday strategy including free online shipping and promotes Taylor Swift's new album (below) as Walmart CMO also talks up holiday plans. Continue reading...

bc q&a

Stirring the Cup: 5 Questions with Chobani CMO Peter McGuinness

Posted by Rami Levi on October 20, 2014 12:37 PM

Chobani has been on a tear lately, launching the #StopSadBreakfast campaign in the US and partnering with Lyft among other ways to differentiate the brand in the crowded Greek yogurt space.

Looking to save sad breakfast sufferers from manufactured muffins, soggy cereal, bland oatmeal and burnt toast, Chobani invited commuters in New York's Grand Central station to stop by for some free Chobani Oats, a new whole grain steel-cut oats and ripe fruit product which is unique to the category. Chobani also served cups of its yogurt-oats blend to breakfast sufferers on-the-go near Manhattan's Bryant Park.

The supporting content and social marketing pokes fun at sub-standard breakfasts while "faux PSAs" running on The Onion and other sites reinforce the theme.

The brand also partnered with the Lyft car service by creating a "Chobani Mode" on its app that enabled special hand-deliveries of cases of Chobani's limited-edition Pumpkin Spice yogurt, its fastest-selling flavor ever.

With more innovation on the horizon, Peter McGuinness, chief marketing and brand officer for Chobani, spoke with brandchannel's unabashed brand fan Rami Levi (high-fiving his Lyft delivery above) about how he plans to sustain the buzz.Continue reading...

campaigns

RedRug: IKEA Remake of The Shining Halloween Ad is Not to be Missed

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 20, 2014 10:12 AM

From the wags behind the award-winning Apple-mocking "bookbook" commercial extolling their visionary print catalog, IKEA's Singapore team is back with a Halloween ad that channels Stanley Kubrick's creepy Stephen King classic, The Shining, complete with a boy on a tricycle and a play on the "redrum" motif. Watch it (if you dare) below.Continue reading...

retail watch

Black Friday Creep and the Thanksgiving Day Grinch: 2014 Edition

Posted by Dale Buss on October 17, 2014 05:11 PM

The war over the sanctity of Thanksgiving could turn into one of those annual holiday classics, like It's a Wonderful Life and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. But while it isn't quite the stuff of movie drama yet, the battle over when US retailers open on Black Friday weekend continues to provide plenty of tension.

Well before Halloween, Macy's has taken one of the initial steps this year by confirming to Huffington Post that it will open stores to Black Friday shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving day—two hours earlier than it opened last year, with online deals starting earlier. In 2014, Walmart kicked off its Black Friday deals at 6 p.m. on Turkey Day, while Target opened at 8 p.m.

Not surprisingly, this has led to angst especially among workers at America's biggest employer who are recruited to work on Thanksgiving day. Over the roughly three years that Black Friday creep has taken place, there have been outbursts of protest akin to the proliferating demonstrations over retailers paying only the minimum wage.Continue reading...

mobile marketing

Starbucks Wishes You a Digital Holiday and a Mobile New Year

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 17, 2014 11:08 AM

Starbucks is on a tear, unveiling a “roadmap of innovations” to “further transform and elevate the Starbucks Experience in Holiday 2014 and beyond.”

Top of the list: Pay Ahead, a US-only mobile order and payment program that will be available nationwide by the end of 2015, starting in Portland, Oregon, in the fourth quarter.  

The coffee giant (up 22% on Interbrand's Best Global Brands this year) is targeting its mobile-first messaging at its core millennial customer base, who prefers to order on a smartphone, and appreciates incentives in the Starbucks customer rewards program mobile app such as free beverages.

About 15% of all Starbucks purchases are made with mobile devices, and many brands are lining up to sign up in the mobile payment app arena. Dunkin' Donuts rolled out its mobile payment app in 2012, and both Taco Bell and McDonald’s are working on proprietary apps.Continue reading...

retail watch

Amazon is Opening a Brick-and-Mortar Store in New York City

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 9, 2014 03:37 PM

AmazonFresh grocery delivery trucks have been spotted around Manhattan, even though the service is officially only available in Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco areas. Now Amazon is preparing to open its first brick-and-mortar store in the Big Apple, and just in time for the holidays.

According to the Wall Street Journal, its New York store—which may serve as part showroom for Amazon's family of digital devices, from Kindle e-readers and Fire smartphone to the Fire TV set-top box—will open at 7 West 34th Street.

A top-riser on Interbrand's just-released 2014 Best Global Brands report at #15, the move would mark a landmark foray into physical retailing for the global e-commerce giant, which is often cited for encouraging "showrooming" that takes business away from brick-and-mortar retailers.

It's opening its own showroom and storefront in a retail site (take a peek below) that's located across the street from the Empire State Building, a tourist-filled area, while the building's loading docks will enable easy access for delivery trucks.Continue reading...

retail watch

Will Santa or the Grinch Reign this Holiday Season? Forecasts Disagree

Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2014 04:50 PM

Will American consumers deliver a spicy trove of holiday cheer in the stocking of retailers this upcoming Christmas season—or a lump of coal?

Two widely-watched prognosticators have come up with radically different forecasts as shoppers spread out to stores and hit their favorite e-commerce sites to buy their gifts, as omnichannel shopping increasinbly becomes the norm.

The National Retail Federation forecasts a 4.1 percent increase in holiday spending, about one-third better than the 3.1 percent increase in 2013 over the prior year, and a far sight better than the 2.9 percent average annual increase over the previous decade. This optimism is ratified by a prediction by Deloitte that foresees a gain of 4 to 4.5 percent.

But another consultancy, PwC, just came out with a more pessimistic outlook, which predicts an "average household spend" in the US of $684 this holiday season, down by more than 7 percent from the actual spend of $735 last year.Continue reading...

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